Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Relieved Djokovic resumes quest to boost Grand Slam tally at French Open; Golf-McIlroy grabs PGA Championship lead as Woods falters and more
The 20-times Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being deported from the country, having initially been admitted to the tournament despite not taking the vaccine. Golf-McIlroy grabs PGA Championship lead as Woods falters Rory McIlroy got the dream start that has eluded him at recent majors to grab the first-round lead at the PGA Championship on Thursday, outshining the two other members of his 'super group' Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Novak Djokovic was ready to skip Grand Slams rather than take a COVID-19 vaccine following the Australian Open fiasco, but the world number one has been building up steam in a stop-start season to peak in time for his French Open title defense. The 20-times Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being deported from the country, having initially been admitted to the tournament despite not taking the vaccine.
Rory McIlroy got the dream start that has eluded him at recent majors to grab the first-round lead at the PGA Championship on Thursday, outshining the two other members of his 'super group' Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. While Woods (74) and Spieth (72) labored, McIlroy, made it look all too easy at Southern Hills Country Club by carding a five-under 65, his best opening round at a major since the 2011 U.S. Open.
Australian Rules-AFL Grand Final reverts to tradition at MCG
The Australian Football League's Grand Final will revert to its traditional afternoon slot at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in September after two years of COVID-19 disruption forced the championship decider out of the game's heartland. The Sept. 24 match, one of the great carnivals of Australian sport, will kick off at 2:30 p.m. (0430 GMT) as part of a "return-to-rituals" push by the top flight of Australian Rules football.
Swimming-Chalmers U-turn could deny Simpson world championships berth
Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers has changed his mind about skipping the world championships and could deny pop singer-turned-swimmer, Cody Simpson, a spot at next month's meet in Budapest. Chalmers, who won 100m freestyle gold at Rio and silver at Tokyo, qualified for the world championships in the 100m butterfly at Australia's trials in Adelaide this week by finishing second in the final, one spot ahead of Simpson.
Golf-Scheffler in the battle to flip the script at PGA Championship
Reigning Masters champions do not have a great track record at recent editions of the PGA Championship and Scottie Scheffler has work to do if he plans to flip that script after a shaky opening round at Southern Hills on Thursday. None of the last five reigning Masters winners have finished among the top 20 at the PGA Championship, the longest such streak in history, and world number one Scheffler could soon join that group.
Tennis-From baby-faced prodigy to the conqueror, Alcaraz sets sights on Grand Slam glory
In a year of memorable firsts for Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard has transformed himself from being just another fresh face with immense potential to a genuine threat on the men's tour and a favorite for the French Open. His meteoric rise in 12 months was underlined by becoming the youngest ATP 500 champion in history at 18 and the youngest player to beat both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the same claycourt event.
Tennis-A year on, Osaka's French Open exit blazes path for mental health debate
The mental toll of professional tennis will be in focus as the curtain rises at Roland Garros next week, a year since four-time major winner Naomi Osaka sparked fresh debate around athletes' mental health. The former world number one stunned the tennis world when she withdrew from the clay-court major after boycotting post-match media duties, prompting a row with tournament officials.
MLB roundup: Trevor Story's 3 HRs, 7 RBIs lead Red Sox's rout
Trevor Story went 4-for-4 with three home runs, seven RBIs, and five runs as the Boston Red Sox beat the visiting Seattle Mariners 12-6 on Thursday night. The Mariners led 4-0 through 1 1/2 innings, but Story's homers in the second and third innings helped the hosts tie the score. Boston added two runs in the sixth and three in both the seventh and eighth.
Tennis-Nadal on the back foot as injury clouds Roland Garros prospects
A chronic foot issue may be the biggest threat to Rafa Nadal's bid for a record-extending 14th French Open trophy this month, with the injury preventing the Spaniard from rediscovering the kind of form he will need to see off a host of challenges. Nadal, who is also looking for a 22nd major title that would give him a little more breathing space ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, had said he considered retirement after missing the bulk of 2021 due to the problem.
Soccer-Landmark U.S. pay deal may inspire sponsors too
After reaching a landmark agreement for equal pay, sponsor dollars could be the next major boost for the United States' four-times World Cup champion women's team. The U.S. national men's and women's soccer team players will receive equal prize money, including at World Cups, after they agreed on collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the U.S. Soccer Federation on Wednesday.
(With inputs from agencies.)